Ganado (Spanish: "Los Ganados", meaning 'the herd/mob' or 'the cattle') were originally humans who became hosts to the mind-controlling Plaga parasite. All members of the fanatical religious cult Los Illuminados are infected with the parasites and it was the cult who originally discovered the Plagas centuries ago in rural Spain. Since the ressurrection of Las Plagas in modern times, Los Illuminados has converted many subjects using the parasites, bending them to the will of Osmund Saddler.
VillagersThese people were once the ordinary peaceful residents of the rural village of Pueblo until they were exposed to Las Plagas. When the village was initially infected by the parasites, the people became savage and violent toward each other, but the Illuminados were able to bring them under control. The children of Pueblo could not accept the parasite and were killed by it, explaining their absence during Resident Evil 4.
With no contact with the outside world, the villagers go about their daily lives as normal, though their living conditions seemed to deteriorate somewhat. While no longer hostile to each other, the Ganados villagers are still extremely aggressive toward anyone uninfected by the Plagas. They will savagely attack using whatever tools are on hand, usually farming tools such as pitchforks, sickles and hatchets, though they possess heightened strength and can attack with their bare hands, grappling a victim and slamming them to the ground singlehandedly. Some villagers even wield chainsaws and sticks of dynamite. All villagers are infected with a Type-A Plaga, which appears as a pulsating organ with a long tentacle ending in a scythe-like blade. The parasite will emerge if commanded by a dominant Plaga or if its host's head is destroyed by an enemy attack.
ZealotsThe monks of the Los illuminados who reside in Castle Salazar. They all wear clerical robes and all appear to be bald (whether they shave their heads or their baldness is a symptom of Type-B Plaga infection is unknown) and some also bare facial markings or scars. They often lumber toward enemies in a zombie-like fashion, with slow yet deliberate steps, murmuring sinister mantra to themselves. They wield medieval weapons such as flails and scythes, even crossbows.
The cultists have a distinct ranking system: standard cultists wear plain black robes whereas those of higher ranks wear more decorative robes and sometimes iron masks that can deflect bullets. The commanding zealots all wear red robes and also helmets made from goat skulls.
These soldiers are "elite" Ganados, members of Saddler's private army, assigned to protect his island complex. They are generally better equipped and smarter than other Ganados and can also run faster than most. They can be seen using many of the weapons of the zealots, with some unique weapons of their own such as electric stunrods. A few burly soldiers carry massive hammers and wear thick bullet-proof metal armour. With the exception of J.J. and some rocket launcher-equipped troopers, no soldier carries a firearm. The militia form Saddler's "Plan B" whereby if the Ashley Graham plan failed they would be sent to the United States to ferment chaos and disorder from within, no doubt gaining converts as they went.
There are a number of Ganados unique to the common Ganado horde, which are considerably more difficult to defeat.
Dr. SalvadorA member of the Il Pueblo village easily recognisable by the burlap sack over his head. Stronger than the other villagers, he savagely attacks Leon Kennedy with a chainsaw. Being struck by Salvador's attack results in instant death. He seems to take little notice of handgun fire, so shotguns or higher caliber weaponry is recommended for dealing with this psychopath.
In Resident Evil 4's Mercenaries mini-game, an enhanced version of Dr. Salvador appears in the Waterworld stage. This version is taller, faster and carries a double chainsaw. As it moves, it is constantly swinging its chainsaw around so going near it guarantees death. Worst of all, this monstrosity can only be harmed by shots to the head as shooting him anywhere else will not even slow him down.
Two female Ganados that Leon encounters as he tries to escape Pueblo with Ashley Graham. They both wear bandages over their heads and charge at Leon with chainsaws. They are both equally strong as Dr. Salvador.
GarradorGarradors are savage armoured Ganados that are encountered in Salazar's castle. They wear medieval-style helmets and gauntlets fitted with three long steel claws. Their eyes are sewn shut and so they rely on sound to track enemies. They will immediately be drawn to the sound of gunfire, but in each of the locations they are found their are brass bells present that can be shot at to distract them. The Garradors will flail their claws around blindly when they get close to a target and often charge in with claws out in front of them to impale victims.
Unlike most Ganados, the Garrador's Plaga parasite sticks out of its back. This is its weak point and shotguns or higher grade weapons are the best choice to bring these creatures down.
A well-built Ganado commando in Lord Saddler's private army. What makes him so dangerous is the gatling gun he carries around with him, letting him strike enemies from a distance. Headshots are of course the best way to bring him down quickly, with TMP's, sniper rifles or grenades being the best weapon choices.
Listed below are the details of the different Plaga types known to infect the Ganados.
In Resident Evil 4, when some Ganados are killed, their heads will explode and the mature Plaga will emerge from the host's neck stump. The Type A appears to be a pulsating blob of diseased flesh with a bulging eye on a stalk and a long tentacle ending in a sharp blade of bone. These creatures will move toward prey relentlessly and slash at them with their bladed tentacles. They are the weakest of the Plaga types.
The Type B Plaga is hosted by the Illuminados zealots that inhabit Castle Salazar. When a zealot is severely wounded, the parasite will rip its way out of the host's neck with the human head still hanging on by connected skin tissue. This parasite attacks by trying to devour its prey's head in one bite.
An insect-like creature with numerous legs that end in sharp points. Between the legs is a web of membranous flesh, possibly used to reduce a potential host's struggles by hindering its breathing. Emerging from the Plaga's tail are a number of small tentacles; these may be part of an ovipositor organ. In Resident Evil 4, certain Illuminados zealots bare these Plagas, which will emerge if the host is killed. The parasite cannot survive long without a host and will attempt to infest another person if one is nearby, attacking them by mauling them with its many legs or by spitting an acidic substance from its mouth. It could be that an adult Plaga separated from its host cannot infest another person and will try to implant eggs in a victim before it dies, but this is not confirmed.